We are all aware that we have to do much more to respond to the cries of justice for women and children who have suffered violence. We have to end these horrible abuses and the impunity that allows these human rights violations to continue. This was the sentiment of Queen Mother Semane Molotlegi, at the University of Johannesburg on Thursday 10 August 2017.
Her Royal Highness, Queen Mother Semane Molotlegi from the Royal Bafokeng Kingdom, was speaking to UJ students and other stakeholders on the provision of the Domestic Violence Act.
The Community Engagement Unit, together with the Department of Strategic Communication at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), in collaboration with Campus Health, IOHA and PsyCAD hosted a two day training workshop from Thursday, 10 August until 11 August 2017 in Auckland Park, Sophiatown Residence to combat the issues of gender-based violence (GBV).
“While terms like “violence against women and girls” puts the focus on women as victims, and “domestic violence” masks who commits those acts, the overwhelming majority of this violence is perpetrated by men, which makes GBV a quintessential male issue. Therefore, we cannot unravel the causes of GBV without first trying to identify what leads men to use violence,” explained the Queen Mother.
The overall objective of the workshop was to involve students in projects that develop their skills while engaging with various communities and finding solutions to the many issues surrounding GBV.
“The existence of the domestic violence act on paper is just not enough. There is the need for joint efforts by all stakeholders to help fight this menace. UJ will also continue to hold workshop discussions on violence against women and girls,” said Dr Corné Davis, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Strategic Communication, UJ.
“Men are often the perpetrators of violence and abuse, but not all men choose violence. Men are also the solution to these social challenges. To all men, let us stand up and be counted as men who respect women, children and each other and lead lives free from violence of all kinds. We can work together towards an alternative image of masculinity, a new man and a new national story, one that is both proud of its past and pursuant of a bright, peaceful future, “added the Queen Mother.
UJ Campus Health, IOHA and PsyCAD run continuous awareness and support programs relating to social, sexual and gender-based violence issues.